Best Monocular For Backpacking

If, like me, you enjoy getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city and into the country, then this article is probably for you. I’ve got all the gear for it to, I can’t help it! Tent, sleeping bag, compass, walking boots, backpack, camping stove, you name it and I’ve bought it at one time or another. But one must have item that I won’t be without when I go away is the monocular.

Half the size of binoculars, they’re small, lightweight and come in incredibly useful when you want to take a quick look at something, not just in nature or scouting terrain, they can be used out hunting or on the golf course. Because of their size, they can easily fit into a pocket or backpack without weighing you down. When you’ve got a lot of gear to carry round with you, that’s big plus in their favour.

As you would expect, there is a wide variety to choose from. They vary, not just in cost, but also in power and lens size. In terms of magnification, they will usually be within a range of 6x to 10x. The higher the number the greater the power. A lens size will typically be from 20mm to 42mm. Again, the higher the number, the bigger and wider the view, with a better, brighter image.

So, if you’re soon to be going away on your next camping trip or hike, read on, because we’ve looked carefully at the ones currently on the market for recommendations at to the Best Monocular For Backpacking.

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Vortex Optics Solo Monocular

This Monocular from Vortex is a great price for what you’re getting. It has a 10x magnification and 25 mm lens which give you amazingly crisp and clear images. It feels really well built, comfortable and very sturdy when held. I haven’t tried, but I can imagine dropping the thing and not seeing a mark on it due to its rubber armour coating!

Its dimpled surface provides you with a non-slip, comfortable hold, so it won’t slip out of your hand and it’s also completely waterproof, so can be used without any worrying, even in wet conditions. The focus ring at the front of the monocular moves well, not too tight and not too loose, just a smooth rotation to get a great image.

The adjustable eye cap means that you won’t have a problem using the monocular, even if you wear glasses. Although I’ve recommended the 10x 25mm version, it’s also available in 10x 36, 8x 25 and 8x 36 and for those with any concerns, it comes with a lifetime warranty.

Main Features:

  • Lightweight
  • Rubber armour cover
  • Fully waterproof
  • Bright, clear image
  • Lifetime warranty

Our Top 5 Picks

Top Pick

Vortex Optics Solo Monocular

  • Lightweight
  • Rubber armour cover
  • Fully waterproof
  • Bright, clear image
  • Lifetime warranty

Runner Up

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Monocular

  • High power 10x x 42mm lens
  • Fully waterproof
  • ED prime glass
  • Belt clip

Best on a Budget

VIVREAL Monocular Telescope

  • 12x x 42mm magnification and lens
  • Fully waterproof
  • Non slip rubber armour
  • Smartphone attachment
  • Money back guarantee

Other Recommended Choices

Roxant Scope Definition Monocular

  • Non slip molded grip
  • Wide view
  • Well built
  • Price

Other Recommended Choices

GoSky Metal Monocular Telescope

  • Durable metal casing
  • High powered 10x x 42mm
  • Fully waterproof
  • Multi- coated lens for high contrast images
  • Wrist strap included

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Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Monocular

You know what to expect with Bushnell and that’s a high quality product, but it also means that you are going to have pay that bit extra. The Bushnell Legend is rather more expensive than our top pick, but it’s worth it in my opinion.

It has a 10x magnification and 42mm lens. The first thing you’ll notice when using it is the incredible clarity and brightness of the image, due to the multi optics and quality of the ED glass used in the lens, even up to 150 yards away and in dim light. It’s bigger and slightly heavier than the Vortex, but again, it’s fully sealed, waterproof and very solid.

The focus ring has a smooth movement, it’s precise and can comfortably be adjusted with the same hand holding it. There’s a carry clip on the left hand side of the monocular which saves having to dig it out of your bag or pocket each time you want to use it.

My only criticism of the Legend would be the lens caps. Compared to the rest of the product they seem a little bit cheap being made of plastic. I found that they left small indentation marks in the rubber armour, which presumably would get worse over time. Other than that, it’s of a high standard and you won’t be disappointed with it.

Main Features:

  • High power 10x x 42mm lens
  • Fully waterproof
  • ED prime glass
  • Belt clip

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VIVREAL Monocular Telescope

If you are working to a strict budget, then what a great little buy this is from VIVREAL. The magnification at 12x is great, with a lens size of 42mm, allowing you to view objects in full detail over 300 yards away. It has a single hand focus that moves nicely and is fully water and fog proof.

It’s really light and its ergonomic design means it fits nicely into the hand. With rubber armour casing to ensure that it won’t slip when being used, the feature that I really liked was the ability to attach your smart phone to the front of lens, allowing you to take really stunning photos with it that friends and family will be amazed by.

It comes with its own small tripod as well which, although it seems on the slightly flimsy side, is adequate. You can always attach a bigger one if you need to. The VIVREAL also comes with a full money back guarantee two year warranty if you’re not entirely happy with it. For a ridiculously low price, I thought it was outstanding.

Main Features:

  • 12x x 42mm magnification and lens
  • Fully waterproof
  • Non slip rubber armour
  • Smartphone attachment
  • Money back guarantee

Other Recommended Choices

If you’re not satisfied with the previous options, here are a couple more you

should definitely consider!

Roxant Scope Definition Monocular

Roxant Scope Definition Monocular

Whilst I looked at some of the very expensive monoculars and which are of undoubtable quality, they are mainly aimed at the hunting or military market and that’s not what we are after here. This Roxant Monocular however is ideal for backpacking in my opinion. Yes, it’s basic, but it’s small and lightweight, something you can just throw in a bag or pocket and not have to worry about.

With a 6x magnification and 30mm lens, don’t expect to see over greater distances, but up to about 100 yards viewing is crisp, wide and bright. It has a no slip molded grip and retractable eyecup. For bird or animal watching, this will be perfect for you.
The one downside is that the Roxant Scope doesn’t have lens caps which is a shame when you’re looking to keep the lens as clean as possible. Other than that, they’re a decent, well made product.

Main Features:

  • Non slip molded grip
  • Wide view
  • Well built
  • Price

GoSky Metal Monocular Telescope

GoSky Metal Monocular Telescope

The final selection is this 10x x 42mm monocular from GoSky. I liked the feel of this when held, it’s sturdy and compact with a metal body casing. Fully waterproof, the higher magnification will allow you to see objects close up at over 500 yards away and the images are detailed with a great contrast to them due to its multi coated green lens.

It has a large, textured focus adjustment ring with a smooth movement and adjustable eyecups that you can use even when wearing glasses. If you want to keep it to hand all the time, it comes with a wrist strap included – useful when watching wildlife and you may only get a moment to look at something!

Main Features:

  • Durable metal casing
  • High powered 10x x 42mm
  • Fully waterproof
  • Multi- coated lens for high contrast images
  • Wrist strap included